Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) has developed strong protocols and additional passenger screening guidance to further reduce the risk of Ebola on a cruise ship.
The recommended measures include contact screening in addition to travel history screening, and denial of boarding for anyone who has had physical contact with, or helped care for, a person with Ebola within 21 days before embarkation.
The heightened protocol comes as Carnival Magic, which had been carrying a passenger who was under self-monitoring for potential exposure to Ebola, docked without incident in the Texan city of Galveston yesterday. The passenger, who has tested negative for the virus, disembarked safely before the rest of the ship’s passengers.
CLIA’s president and CEO Christine Duffy has praised the action of Carnival and the public health authorities for managing the disembarkation successfully, and said the association and its member cruise lines are “continually evaluating the situation with Ebola and are in regular contact with public health officials to assess the need to enhance the industry’s protocols.”
She added that its measures “typically go beyond what is technically required.”
CLIA is also actively engaged with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other sectors of the travel industry, to assist the US Federal government in quickly establishing a robust protocol for identifying any member of the travelling public designated by the CDC for monitoring.